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Two kinds of teachers have influenced me the most.
The first were those who had been there and survived that.
They taught me basic movements, but more importantly,
they taught me what it takes to survive out there: the mindset,
the understanding and the spirit one needs to come out alive.
My other kind of instructors weren't fighters. They hadn't had
to apply their art ... but they were technically superb. They could not
only do, but they taught me how to move, how to control my
movement and how to generate power. Neither aspect is more
important than the other, it was the blending of these two
that allowed me to not only survive, but come out ahead.
                                            Marc MacYoung

How is Dango-Jiro Organized?

Yes, there is a kid program for Dango Jiro. And in that section Dango-Jiro is very much a martial art. There are belts, rank advancement and forms. And children are required to address elders as Mam/Sir/Sabumnin/Sifu/Sensei (the last three words mean 'teaching' in different languages 1). Belts and rank advancement is a very useful external motivator and indicator of success for young people. So while we do have those aspects for kids, but when you're old enough to vote, the motivation needs to come from within.

Dango Jiro is an organized system to help instill awareness of body movement, structure, kinesthetics, range spatial relationships. More importantly it is a training system to help you learn how to control and apply those in a physical conflict. And to do so at whatever level of force is necessary.

That right there makes Dango Jiro unique. As you do not want to attempt a submission hold on someone trying to kill you, neither do you want to go kung-fu-killer commando on drunken Uncle Albert at a family gathering. Either would be an inappropriate response, one would get you hurt, the other would hurt him unnecessarily. But what makes this most effective, is that the same core motions are used in both cases -- you just control how much damage you cause. Instead of having countless different techniques for different situations, you have core principles. Principles that while they never change you can tailor them to the specific needs of the situation.

Dango Jiro teaches a wide range of effective tactics -- no matter what level you find yourself on the use of force continuum. This system will not make you a "fighter," but it will help you develop the skills to be physically competent, as well as understand when and where to use those skills.

While the system is framed in what can be called "a martial arts context," it goes beyond martial arts training in certain areas and refuses to touch other elements that many martial artists include in their systems (e.g. bowing, uniforms and traditions from other cultures). One of our main emphasis's is on both the generating force and dealing with what you will encounter in a conflict. We frame this within use of force standards and a firm understanding on the complexities of violence. Which we also explain as we go. This the personal safety safety aspect, as it will help keep you from being the featured attraction of a violent assault.

Another emphasis is from a martial art perspective. That is to help you reevaluate and discover new depths and understandings of whatever system you already know. This helps you to see how the principles and concepts we teach manifest in your system -- or to put them back in if they have been lost. Either one, makes what you know already all that much more effective.

Our real emphasis, however, is to teach you how to think on your feet in stressful circumstances AND to ingrain fundamental elements that must be present in your movement in order for you to be effective. As such, while Dango Jiro is not a fighting style, it can be used for self-defense, professional use of force and even in tournament sparring (although the last is not our main emphasis).

When combined with the strategic approach toward personal safety that both Marc MacYoung, Dianna Gordon MacYoung and the other founders of Dango Jiro stress and promote, the system can go a long way to keeping you safe from physical harm. Or, as you are more likely to use it for, it can help you get physical excercise, become more self-confident and be more analytical about physical movement.


1) Because Dango-Jiro is a hybrid style, we often bring in the instructors who contributed to it to teach. As a courtesy to those instructors young students address those individuals by their system's titles. Sabumnin is Korean. Sifu is Chinese. Sensei is Japanese. Return to Text

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